January 19, 2016

Central Casting Part IV

If you haven't seen this yet, then set aside a snowy afternoon and watch with the love of your life.

Oscar Season is upon us and I couldn't care less.  Since Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington have won 2 Oscars apiece and Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes haven't won any, I know artistic excellence isn't what the Oscars are about.

The ravishing Julie Christie with Rod Steiger, a hugely underrated actor who was always proud to be the only American cast in this cinematic masterpiece.

With an Arctic blast gripping much of North America in it's late arriving clutches, perhaps a weekend at home curled up by the fire watching an old classic should be on the agenda. As many of you know, Dr Zhivago is firmly established in GSL's Holy Trinity (along with Casablanca & The English Patient) of best ever movies. I always tell a young couple madly in love to set aside a snowy afternoon and watch Dr Zhivago, without distraction, and then name your first born son after me.

A very young Brigitte Bardot. Claire, would BB have been perfect to play you? Word at The Red Lion is that you've been gong to a voice coach to acquire a sexy breathy whisper in hopes of landing your dreamboat.

If you were the subject of a biopic, who would play the lead?...and please ladies, give the self-deprecation a rest; if you can't bring yourself to say: "Kate Winslet was born to play me..." then just say: "....ALL my friends say...." as GSL has become quite accustomed to this feminine inclination towards veiled self-flattery.

A young GSL years ago was described as a "sawed-off Steve McQueen". This pic from The Great Escape which attentive Den readers know has a connection to our fav watering hole. Click pic in right margin to reference.

Growing up, GSL would in his late teens/early 20s hear "sawed-off Steve McQueen" in a tone not intended to flatter but as a reference towards my strapping 5 foot 6 inch frame. Steve McQueen would have been a little too pretty/good-looking and out of his depth.  In the '80s and '90s, Ed Harris was  near unanimous as the actor who could best capture The Right Stuff  that enchanted every fine filly that caught GSL's fancy. Ed Harris was too old and too wooden to reach GSL's higher registers.

I got the Ed Harris thing a lot in the late '80s/'90s. Good actor, cool guy;  but not quite right.

Every now and then, somebody stumbled upon the actor who would be ideal. Christian Slater has the right physicality, emotional range, intellectual depth, and a speaking voice that fits the bill perfectly I'm told. A person's voice is the one quality that eludes self-assessment. Every time I hear a recording of my voice, it sounds like somebody else but Christian Slater has done some commercial voice-over work and several people have commented we sound nearly identical.  Christian Slater gets his role of a lifetime as the charismatic GSL...the writing had better be first rate.

Christian Slater has the definitive GSL within his reach but first he'd have to spend a lot of time at The Red Lion doing research on how to walk the talk....and lose the hair product.

Emily Blunt as my Estella. She'd have to visit Claire's voice coach to perfectly capture Estella's signature tone...a sing-song lilt of derision that would have driven Gandhi to mass murder.

A GSL biopic has long been a favorite topic of Estella...just so we can discuss who plays her. About 5 years ago Emily Blunt overtook a raven haired Toni Collette.

Toni Collette who Emily Blunt supplanted. She actually does have Estella's physicality but the features a  slight bit too sharp and Emily Blunt's softer, more womanly look better fits the bill.

If the BBC does a 12 part/ 18 hour treatment (as has been rumored), then one fascinating sequence would have the vastly underutilized Rebecca Pidgeon.

The multi-talented, underutilized, and Mrs. David Mamet, Rebecca Pidgeon. At a wedding reception, GSL mistakenly thought her doppelganger, seated to my left, was who the bride eagerly encouraged me to direct my attentions towards. GSL was smitten at first glance, put on the GSL full court press....with predictable lead--pipe cinch results only to discover at night's end she was married to the chap sitting opposite us at the 'fun table'. The young lady seated to my right left early in a huff. The doppelganger and I had a couple of very heated, and thankfully unconsummated, months of interaction and she ultimately emotionally proclaimed in a I can't go on like this tone: "I'm happily married (and pregnant with her first child I later was relieved to discover).... but if I wasn't would love to be married to you...."
Perfect ending with no casualties and the highest compliment GSL has ever been paid.

Ladies, who would be cast in your biopic and please do include significant others past and present.


  1. Christian Slater is a favourite of mine so well done, and who can argue with the lovely Emily? Hmm - I think I would like Maureen O'Hara, though would "settle" for Lauren Graham..

    1. Wendy, only just introduced to Lauren Graham and she certainly looks born to play you. Maureen O'Hara is also a fav of mine and always thought she and John Wayne were longtime friends and just that but recently read where they had a longtime fling going on and would meet up every year in New Mexico or somewhere to rekindle things....I find LG quite attractive too.

    2. Wendy, as we did also ask for significant others; allow me to suggest that former LG flame (according to Wiki) Matthew Perry with glasses could make a convincing Barry....if under expert direction.

  2. How'd you know I'd dropped in, and got called away by the phone to come get Fuzzy-Pup at the groomer? He'd got into an awful way whilst we were at the hospital all week, all matty and sad, and now he's ship-shape, high & tight like no Peke in history, and loving his free new self. He may, however, wonder how the iron-cold blast as he left home all shaggy has become the -110 of an alien planet next time he goes out to wee.

    I love the cold. I love the snow. I hate the snow for Chris and Caro and everybody who has to shovel it or drive in it, or brave the flurries and blizzards to keep life going, but my hating it would not help them, I think. So I simply love it. Still haven't learned to drive in it yet, despite these 25 years in Indianannnna. And still so astonished when we're out and it starts coming down hard, and everybody else is just dancing across parking lots, bright and cheery, coming into Steak and Shake for that Five-way, just like it's April. I'm used to two flakes and you leave work, stop for a loaf of Wonder and some milk, and get yourself home by the fire.

    Hope your holidays were marvelous---ours were quite so, a great flurry of chillun and GRANDS and dinners and overnights and visits and scatters of paper and clay and toys and cookie crumbs and parfait-building contests in the good crystal and blow-up beds all over the house. We had three celebrations, as each contingent arrived, and then one immense together as TEN of OURS were here for New Year's Eve. What a day!

    Just an hour til I go pick up Sweetpea for the rest of the week. She loves having "her" room and all her stuff, but she was delighted to share all---even her bed, for she slept at home when the rest were here.

    Just ordered a print-out of my other little blog "Paxton People," (mainly for the New Year discount), and it's the closest I get to having the words in my hands. You must still be floating on your new adventure---any signings over this way?

    NO idea of who'd-play-me---I think I'd like it to be Maureen Stapleton in The Electric Grandmother---she tended them as children, and then when they grew old. There I'd be, always around somewhere, doddering about looking after succeeding generations til my charge runs down.

    Best to you, dear Faraway Friend. Don't you just LOVE that Ed and Amy haven't HAD WORK, and know who they are enough to just be themselves?

    rachel n'em

    1. Rachel, the producers will insist on you writing the screenplay and only a formidable Maureen Stapleton possessed the acting chops to deliver those charming Southern Gaelic lines convincingly.

  3. Never seen dr Shivago nor English patient. I know.

    Can I take acting lessons and play myself?

    1. This Zhivago/English Patient deficit must cease.
      Naomi, thr producers will want to make it a sea-faring tale to put their ingenue at ease...Netflix will want to spin off into series with a young Adrienne Barbeau/Suzanne Pleshette type playing the scrappy Tugboat Solicitor.

  4. Love both Emily Blunt, who can do anything and Toni Collette, the same. After Muriel's Wedding a family friend said "you girls" meaning me and my sisters looked just like Toni Collette, though it was not a compliment at the time ( think she meant we all had reddish hair and huge mouths.) I took it as a compliment as love her. A friend at Evening Standard in London said he sat next to her and she was very beautiful in real life, and tiny slim.
    Not seen Zhivago to my knowledge, though must revisit English patient.
    People say my husband looks like David whatsits from Friends who is really annoying but funny, so would have to be played by him

  5. Jody, Central Casting would insist you play Jackie O during the '70s. You need only a brunette dye job, high-waisted flares, iconic sunnies, and to carpool with Claire for that 'breathy whisper class'...the story would begin as Jackie shakes down Ari's daughter Christinna for $35mil on Athens Airport tarmac before the shipping magnate's body is even cold...

  6. I agree with the casting of you Mossy and i am flattered with mine. Indeed, Rebecca Pidgeon looks like you-know-who, a certain someone I know you will never forget. What fun and lively times those were!

    1. EB physically is there but she'll need to summon a deep well of exasperated disdain to get your infamous 'Tone'. CS like me has occasionally gotten a little chubby...which is where I lamentably find myself now; corrective action well underway...just as soon as I digest a massive lunch.

  7. My dear GSL, I had to think about this one for a few days but here are my picks: If I get to select a few babes from old Hollywood to play me I want sarcastic but good-looking broads like Jane Russell (though I do not have anything close to THAT bod, I'm thinking more of her witty repartee) or Lauren Bacall (so bitchy in 'How to Marry a Millionaire' I could be her soul twin). If it's a modern actress the one I like the most these days is Naomi Watts, except she is probably too sweet to play me (though she is a fine actress!) and she'd have to dye her hair brown. She can do a great American accent and I think she'd strike the right note of tortured artist (hahaha) mixed with the cynic. Hope she likes champagne. x

    P.S. What do you think of this wild election cycle? What happened to your girl Carly?

    1. I would love to see your bitchy Lauren Becall side Jill. I definitely see Naomi Watts (under Mya's snipping those bobbed tresses dark brown) bringing your Park Slope unconvincing street fighter personae to life.
      I've said this before but that bewitching late 80s perm bobbed brunette in that Wham Last Xmas vid always reminds me of you.
      Carly had that great debate then vanished. Trump consumes all the media oxygen and she didnt know how to be a cleverly entertaining counterpuncher...GSL in her corner would have scripted, then coached deftly timed withering rejoinders that would have taken the starch out of the Donald's ducktail....he's not even that good on his feet yet those schmucks can't even land a glancing blow!

    2. Oh GSL, I had to swing back by to see what you thought of my suggestions and you have me laughing, as usual. Ha ha I am so not a street fighter, you are right on that! And I have to laugh that I know EXACTLY who you mean re the Wham video and are you sure? That is quite a compliment! She is so beautiful! I'm blushing. I ask you, how could she say no to George when he gave her that amazing brooch??? So he's a little gay, that should not have presented a problem!

      Re Trump, Carly and the rest, I normally don't care about the Iowa caucuses but I will def be watching Monday to see the returns. I think Trump made an error not debating last night, he only burnishes the notion of Megyn Kelly as a dragon-slayer even more. I don't think she is a serious journalist by a long shot but he should not have been calling her a bimbo on Twitter. So not smart. I think it's time for you to write another political post, you do them so well and they are highly entertaining! x

  8. One last thing, VCA's Church Mouse is up on my blog in the sidebar, just for you! It's funny to me that you think they wouldn't have one. Ha ha, couldn't resist! Whee!

    1. That is one well turned out Church Mouse! They must now have a strong Union as I can remember when church-miceing didn't pay that well.